Diary of a Desert Identifier: Welcome to the Neighborhood or the Saga of the Clever Rodent

By Gay Russell

Being a Desert Identifier means going through large files of photos captured on a disc from the desert cameras.  The photos have usually been taken over several days, usually a week to 10 days.  You quickly begin to see the site as the same as any neighborhood, populated by certain characters (species) and some visitors.  The neighborhood usually has some mule deer from the local resident herd, a herd of  javelinas, the occasional coyote, a lone grey fox, roadrunners, skunks, the lone bobcat, and other interesting characters.

Recently I was fascinated with the saga of a plump, clever rodent and a local grey fox who was determined to capture the rodent!


The grey fox appeared, sniffing and digging at the area—he just knew the rodent was there!




Each time, the rodent would reappear after the fox left the scene, still safe and happy.    



After watching several unsuccessful hunting sessions by the fox, another neighborhood character joined the scene—-a ringtail!




There were 9 attempts by the grey fox to capture the elusive clever, plump rodent.  The ringtail attempted 8 different times to enjoy a meal that would include the rodent—to no avail. After over 1500 photos and a period of 10 days, the rodent was last seen at photo #1500—-still triumphant!

The saga continues . . . .


(I’m still King of the Mountain!)